(Tribune News Service) — A man was rescued on Tuesday after falling from a pier into San Francisco Bay and becoming submerged 16 feet underwater, officials said.
Witnesses informed the San Francisco Fire Department that before the man fell into the water, he was collecting cans on the Torpedo Wharf, which is located east of Fort Point, Capt. Jonathan Baxter, spokesman for SFFD, told SFGATE.
Baxter said the department responded just after 10 a.m. Tuesday and received assistance from the Coast Guard and National Park Service to locate the man. He said rescue swimmers performed a "grid search" in which divers go underwater with their dive tanks to rescue the person.
Baxter said the man, who was rescued around 10:55 a.m, was underwater for about 50 minutes and eventually taken to a local hospital in critical condition as first-responders continued to perform CPR.
He said the man was transported to the hospital because the department executed a "cold water protocol," which means in certain circumstances individuals can sometimes be revived under cold water grounding, a technique that uses ice and cold water to shock one's senses.
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